In today’s post: You can stop searching, because this is the PERFECT chocolate chip cookie recipe. They’re gooey when warm and perfectly soft once they’ve cooled.
Everyone needs a friend they can discuss the really important things in life with, right? I’m lucky enough to have a couple such friends. We get together and chat about all the important things: how to handle life’s challenges, how to be good parents, how to keep going when we’re worn out and how to make our community a better place. And (of course) how to make PERFECT soft chocolate chip cookies.
Seriously, it’s been a years long quest for me to find that one go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe. But you know, I think I’ve finally done it! Now, I can’t claim to have invented a brand new chocolate chip cookie recipe, but I have tested and I have tweaked and combined factors from different recipes until I have finally settled on what is, to me, the perfect soft chocolate chip cookie recipe.
Now, everyone is going to have slightly different parameters for their perfect cookie. I mean, I guess it makes sense we all have slightly different tastes. Apparently, there are actual real live people who prefer crunchy cookies. I know, it sounds crazy to me too 😉. But to each her own!
The Perfect Soft Chocolate Chip Cookie
Here’s what I’m looking for in the perfect soft chocolate chip cookies:
- They MUST NOT BE FLAT. Flat cookies are the worst.
- They MUST BE SOFT! If I’m going to eat a cookie fresh out of the oven I want it to be just a bit gooey in the center (not raw), and when it’s completely cool it should still be beautifully soft.
- Please don’t make me chill the dough for 24 hours. Or even 2 hours. I know chilling dough is supposed to work magic, but I really don’t want to have to wait that long to bake my cookies darn it!
- They need to taste really, really good.
Easy enough, right? After years of testing (honestly, this could be considered my life’s work 😂) here is my personal FAVORITE soft chocolate chip cookie recipe.
Please remember that there are a lot of factors involved in making soft chocolate chip cookies, so I’m including lots of tips after the recipe card!
Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe Card
- 1 cup cold Butter
- 3/4 cup Brown Sugar
- 1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
- 2 Eggs
- 2 + 3/4 cup All Purpose Flour or up to 3 cups
- 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1 teaspoon Coarse Salt see note
- 2.5 cups Chocolate Chips see note
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- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Slice the cold butter into tablespoons and place it in a mixer. Add both sugars and mix until fully incorporated and light and fluffy - about two minutes.
- Add eggs and beat two more minutes, scraping down bowl if needed.
- In a separate bowl, whisk baking powder, baking soda, and coarse salt into the flour.
- Add dry ingredients all at once and mix just until incorporated. Do not overmix. Dough should be fairly thick. If it seems very sticky you can add a little more flour.
- Pour in chocolate chips and mix just until incorporated.
- Scoop out cookies using a 3 TABLESPOON SCOOP onto a lined cookie sheet. Your cookie dough should still feel quite cool to the touch. If it doesn't, pop the cookie sheet into the fridge for 8-10 minutes before baking.
- Bake at 375 for about 8-9 minutes. Cookies should feel set on the edges but will still be soft in the middle and pale in color. Allow cookies to rest on the baking sheet for 2-3 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool.
Tips for the Perfect Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies: Technique
Scoop the right size dough balls. First off, these cookies are made using a 3 tablespoon cookie dough scoop, which is slightly larger than a standard cookie dough scoop. Is it worth getting a second scoop? Well, if you are serious about cookies, the answer is YES. One of the things my friends and I agree on is that a slightly larger cookie is necessary to get a beautifully soft inside. Smaller cookies cook all the way through faster, and giant cookies…well they can bake up really nicely but they aren’t super practical. So either get a 3 tablespoon scoop or figure out what 3 tablespoons looks like so you can shoot for that same size every time.
DON’T roll the dough into a nice smooth ball. Just scoop it and leave it. Having a rough edge on the dough actually gives you a prettier baked cookie!
Make sure your dough is cool before baking. Now I promised I wouldn’t make you chill this dough for hours before you bake it, but these will cook up a bit better if you scoop out the dough balls and pop them in the fridge for 8-10 minutes before baking. Just chill each successive tray of cookie dough balls while the one before it is cooking. This ensures you don’t end up with a flat cookie. Remember to scoop out the cookie dough before chilling it for 10 minutes – if you chill the dough first and then try to scoop it out you will break your scoop.
Do not overbake. Oven temperatures vary, so you will want to keep a close eye on your cookies until you find the sweet spot for your oven. You want to bake them until they feel set on the sides, but they will still be soft on top. And they aren’t going to look very brown, either. If my dough starts cool and I’ve scooped them out with a 3 tablespoon scoop, just about 8 minutes and 45 seconds is perfect in my oven at 375, but you’ll want to experiment a little and keep track of how long is best for you.
Place in a plastic bag/container as soon as they are cool. I think these cookies are at their absolute best about 15 minutes out of the oven. But if you don’t eat ALL your cookies straight out of the oven, you’ll want to let them cool on the counter for an hour at most before placing into a sealed container. This ensures they don’t dry out at all and helps them stay super soft.
Tips for the Perfect Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies: Ingredients
Salt: The recipe calls for coarse salt and it’s definitely worth using! The flavor of coarse salt comes through a bit stronger in cookies and it’s a great complement to both the cookie and the chocolate. However, if you do not want to taste the salt, you can use 1/2 a teaspoon of table salt instead.
Chocolate Chips: Chocolate chips are kind of the star of the show in a chocolate chip cookie, so make sure you get good ones. I prefer a nicer brand of chocolate chips like Guittard or Ghiradelli – those chips are often a little larger in size which means you taste the chocolate more. Additionally, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND using a mix of semi-sweet, milk, and dark chocolate chips in these cookies. Having three different types of chocolate in here really amps up the flavor and sets these cookies apart. Finally, please note that you will need 2.5 cups of chips in total, which is more than one bag of chips.
Flour: The recipe calls for 2 and 3/4 cups of flour. Please do not pack down your flour as you measure it! After you add the dry ingredients and mix, the dough should be fairly thick. If your dough seems sticky, add a little more flour. Also, if your cookies flatten more than you’d like, you can use a bit more flour next time (also be sure you are using cold butter).
Vanilla: There’s no vanilla in this recipe! I used to always put double or triple the amount of vanilla in my cookies because I love vanilla – but it turns out these cookies have so much flavor from the salt and chocolate that they don’t even need vanilla. But if you really want vanilla in there, go ahead and add a teaspoon.